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CCCPA or Cairo International Center for Conflict Resolution, Peacekeeping, and Peace building was founded by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1994. It is the only agency that specializes in training, capacity building and research in the fields of peace and security in Africa and the Middle East. CCCPA has hosted two Aswan forums so far, both editions were related to peace and security issues. The first event took place back in 2019, which was an in-person event. Whereas in March CCCPA hosted their second edition of Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development titled; Shaping Africa’s New Normal: Recovering Stronger, Rebuilding Better in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic. But this time around, CCCPA successfully organized a hybrid event with the help of vFairs’ virtual event platform– spanning over five days from March 1-5. All the presentations were conducted virtually, along with the presidential participation.
The main goal of the forum was to bring leaders from governments, regional and international organizations, financial institutions, private sector, and civil society, as well as visionaries, scholars and key experts together for an actionable discussion on the risks, threats, challenges, and opportunities posed by the new normal. And to put forth their strategies and agendas in response to “recover stronger” and “rebuild better” post-pandemic.
During the global pandemic, in-person events around the world were postponed and worst-case, canceled. But since CCCPA was committed to addressing the issues of peace building and security, human trafficking, and smuggling of immigrants – they decided to take their Aswan forum online.
The idea was to bring about maximum engagement in a virtual landscape that would not only resonate with their past events but also offer value for money. So to surpass the attendee expectation and to provide something close to physical events – they needed a cost-efficient yet visually appealing virtual event platform.
While searching through different virtual event hosting platforms online, they came across vFairs by “coincidence”. Moreover, they also reached out to different companies that have hosted similar virtual events in different countries in the past for references.
But vFairs was their first preference because of its aesthetics and 3D visual appeal. Moreover, Ahmed Khalifa, Operations Manager at CCCPA mentioned that “The pricing was good, the idea of having something that is 3D and providing the same sense of actual in-person events” was why they chose vFairs.
“While doing the procurement process for our virtual platform, vFairs came up to me by coincidence on the internet. I checked that you provide 3D designs for the platform. It was attractive and it was considered among other options that we received.” – Ahmed Khalifa, Operations Manager at CCCPASome Important Features
“While doing the procurement process for our virtual platform, vFairs came up to me by coincidence on the internet. I checked that you provide 3D designs for the platform. It was attractive and it was considered among other options that we received.” – Ahmed Khalifa, Operations Manager at CCCPA
The 3D interface, virtual booths, lobbies, and auditorium provided the same experience as in-person events for everyone. CCCPA and sponsors found the interface very eye-catching, and attractive, unlike other platforms available out there.
They were very very excited about the idea of having pictures of the actual venue on the virtual event platform. Moreover, customization options allowed them to customize their event using pre-made images aligning with their company values such as placement of their 3D logos, better background picture, and the “same ballroom-like” look and feel of the stage and auditorium as it was in 2019.
Additionally, vFairs offered a unique and immersive experience for the attendees where they engaged with keynote speakers and attended forum sessions.
It was a completely different yet successful experience from in-person events. At first, they did not know that it was going to be a hybrid event; but then they decided to do the opening sessions as a hybrid and it worked.
Additionally, CCCPA wanted to give their participants a chance to see all the sessions. Along with that they also needed to accommodate different time zones; the reason why the virtual forum was spread over five consecutive days whereas the in-person event lasted for two days only.
Also, Ahmed added that the, “general idea of online events is much easier in terms of logistics, people can attend without having to travel”, the reason why he saw an increase in the number of participants this time around.
In the end, when asked about any suggestions for vFairs virtual event platform, Ahmed Khalifa said that they are really looking forward to “options for searching other participants” within the chat widget and “better mobile optimization.”
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